Jessica Sanchez finishes 2nd on ‘Idol’

CHULA VISTA (CNS) – Chula Vista singing sensation Jessica Sanchez
finished second in the 11th season of “American Idol” but isn't expected to
fade away from the spotlight any time soon.

Sanchez, 16, embraced crooner Phillip Phillips of Leesburg, Ga., after
host Ryan Seacrest announced that Phillips was the winner during Wednesday
night's two-hour telecast. A record 132 million votes were cast.

Phillips praised his competition backstage after the show, saying
Sanchez has got a huge future ahead of her. Sanchez, in turn, told reporters
that Phillips deserved the win, having worked through a lot more issues than
any of his competitors.

The 21-year-old Phillips is expected to have kidney surgery before the
top 10 Idol finishers begin a 45-date concert tour July 6 in Detroit. The tour
comes to San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, formerly the Sports Arena, on
July 26.

“I'm kind of relieved the whole thing is over,” said Sanchez, who has
endured a grueling schedule of interviews, photo shoots, rehearsals and
performances in the past several weeks.

Had she won, Sanchez would have become the first female winner of
“Idol” since Jordin Sparks, the 2007 champion.

The home-schooled Sanchez is the second runner-up from San Diego County.
Adam Lambert, a Mount Carmel High School alumnus, finished second in 2009.

This was the first year Sanchez was old enough to compete on Idol but
not the first time she competed on a big network TV show. At age 11, Sanchez
competed in the first season of NBC's “America's Got Talent” but didn't make
it beyond the semi-finals.

On Idol, Sanchez was known throughout the season for belting out
powerful pop songs made famous by the late-Whitney Houston and others. But the
youthful Sanchez is now looking to do more.

“I want to (do) more like a Rihanna dance thing, but I don't want to
compare myself to anybody — more like the urban (music) thing, not straight
pop,” she said.

As part of his prize for winning Idol, Phillips automatically receives a
$1 million recording contract. But due to her popularity and proven vocal
skills, Sanchez is expected to have no trouble finding a record label to sign
her.

Categories: KUSI